Dell is set to buy privately held managed services provider SilverBack Technologies.
The acquisition, for an undisclosed amount, meant SilverBack's service delivery platform would be incorporated into Dell’s IT services business, the buyer said. Dell already offers such IT services as asset recovery and recycling, and last year acquired UK IT services firm ACS in order to provide migration services to Microsoft’s Windows Vista platform.
SilverBack, not to be confused with the storage equipment maker acquired by Brocade in January, is a long established managed service provider that has also evolved into a software company. The company delivers its service delivery platform to other vendors looking to provide remote monitoring services to customers as a managed offering.
Industry watchers have said SilverBack's remote monitoring software platform, which is capable of managing servers, storage, security, networks, desktops and laptops, can further strengthen Dell's services play.
Dell would use SilverBack's capabilities “to add a new layer of managed services to its product portfolio", according to Jeff Kaplan, managing director at consultancy ThinkStrategies. "Dell is in a unique position to capitalise on SilverBack's capabilities because it has a strong relationship with customers as a result of its direct sales heritage."
Yet Kaplan pointed out that other vendors that have attempted to buy their way into managed services, such as Cisco with its NetSolve acquisition, haven't always been met with great success. Dell would have to update its support organisation to work proactively with customers and maintain ongoing relationships, he said.
"Dell's acquisition of SilverBack is still a significant bellwether of the changing nature of the IT market," Kaplan commented. "We are moving away from a technology centric industry to a services driven business."